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Mariner outlasts Cape Coral in 34-27 thriller

November 2, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

There's a black Mariner Tritons' helmet atop the Black and Blue Classic trophy this morning.

In one of the most thrilling games in the longstanding rivalry, the Tritons stopped a Cape Coral drive on the final play Friday night for a 34-27 victory at Cape Coral High School.

Coach Travis Smith's Tritons saw a 20-7 lead turn into a 27-26 deficit, but rallied for the win.

Article Photos

Mariner junior Cade Reynolds (28) ran for a touchdown during the Tritons' 34-27 win over Cape Coral Friday night. To view more photos from the game, see our Facebook page.

"They did," Smith said. "They did. They didn't give up. They kept going all night long. I can't tell you how proud I am of this group.

"We've had a lot of adversity this year. We kept pushing and kept pushing and just never gave up."

That both teams ended the season 5-5 was an indication of how closely matched they were, and how close Friday's game turned out to be.

"A close game, and somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose," Cape Coral coach Dale More said.

Mariner's win ended a two-year run of Cape Coral having possession of the trophy, which is designed to hold the helmet of the winning team. After Friday's game, the Seahawks' helmet came off and the Tritons' helmet went on to the delight of the Mariner players.

"It's about time," Smith said.

Mariner jumped out to a 20-7 halftime lead, only to have the Seahawks storm back to take a 27-26 lead early in the fourth quarter on Parker O'Dell's 2-yard quarterback keeper. Cape tried but failed to make a two-point conversion.

Rashawn Hunter's second touchdown run of the game, plus a two-point conversion pass to Ericson Noel, put the Tritons back out front with 6:56 to go.

"We just went out there and played our game," Hunter said. "We said, 'Everybody knows what to do. Do your own thing, don't try to cover for anybody else. Do what you do. If everybody does their thing, we'll be straight.'"

It looked like Mariner would put the game away in the final minutes, but Osbel Hernandez intercepted a Hunter pass on his own 2, returning it to the Cape 15. A penalty on the play pushed the ball out to the 30.

O'Dell, back at quarterback after missing two games with a concussion, drove his team downfield in the final 2:01. With a fourth and 1 at the Tritons' 21 and only seven seconds to go, the Mariner defense rose up and sacked O'Dell to end the game.

"I'm not going to lie," Smith said. "I was puckering up a little bit."

O'Dell, who suffered the concussion at Island Coast on Oct. 12, rushed 19 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and completed 21 of 27 passes for 283 yards and a scoring pass to Frank Smith.

"We played a lot better in the second half," More said. "We fixed some things, changed some things at halftime, and came out and played hard."

Mariner just missed having three 100-yard runners in the same game. Mariner quarterback Rashawn Hunter had 111 yards rushing on 11 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown and a 6-yard score. The Tritons (5-5) also had 111 yards on 14 Cade Reynolds rushes (41-yard touchdown included) and 98 yards on six runs by Tavin Ward that featured a 40-yard score.

Hunter didn't have a big night passing (1 of 6) but his sole completion was a 37-yard touchdown hookup with Noel.

The Seahawks moved the ball in the first half, but couldn't produce points. Two drives, including a first and goal from the 6, ended in missed field goals.

"We struggled offensively in the first half," More said. "We found our rhythm in the second half. We moved the ball well all game really. We just couldn't find a way to finish in the first half."

Michael Gary got the Seahawks on the board from the defensive side of the ball, returning a Mariner fumble 31 yards for a second-quarter touchdown. That ended a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless quarters for the injury-ravaged Seahawks.

Gary also ran the ball 10 times for 86 yards.

He only began running the ball in the season's eighth game. Leading rusher Adrien Canty was lost to injury for the season in Cape's sixth game, a last-second loss to Lehigh that began a season-breaking five-game losing streak.

Anthony Cody led the Seahawks in rushing with 121 yards on 12 attempts.

Cape Coral had 29 first downs in the game, compared to 21 for the Tritons.

Hernandez and Mariner's Jake Peters were the recipients of $500 Rotary Club of Cape Coral scholarships, selected by their coaches as part of the Black and Blue Classic.

MARINER 13 7 6 8 - 34

CAPE CORAL 0 7 14 6 - 27

First quarter

M - Rashawn Hunter 55-yard run (Owen Osgood kick) 5:08.

M - Tavin Ward 40-yard run (kick blocked) 0:36.

Second quarter

CC - Michael Gary 31-yard fumble return (Antonio Garcia kick) 7:48.

M - Cade Reynolds 41-yard run (Osgood kick) 7:07.

Third quarter

CC - Parker O'Dell 12-yard run (Garcia kick) 9:21.

M - Ericson Noel 37-yard pass from Hunter (kick blocked). 8:50.

CC - Frank Smith 31-yard pass from O'Dell (Garcia kick) 6:09.

Fourth quarter

CC - O'Dell 2-yard run (pass failed) 10:12.

M - Hunter 6-yard run (Noel pass from Hunter) 6:56.

In other games:

North Fort Myers 31, South Fort Myers 13: The playoff-bound Red Knights (7-3) won for the seventh time in eight games, romping to a road win on Friday. Clayton Savinsky, who became North's first 1,000-yard receiver last week, added to his total with touchdown catches of 62 and 32 yards from Jesse Charles. Shomari Mason ran for two scores on runs of 16 and 4 yards, Chris Lucas scored from 7 yards out, and Hunter Kobylanski added a 4-yard run. The Red Knights will get the official word on their first-round Class 6A playoff opponent on Sunday, when the FHSAA releases the final regular-season point totals.

Island Coast 27, East Lee County 7: The Island Coast Gators ended the season with their third win in four games to finish 3-7 in coach Jim Wiseman's first season. Island Coast won its last two, including a win against Ida Baker in last week's Crosstown Showdown.

Golf results

State Class 1A: Bishop Verot's Reece Kyle tied for 22nd in the state Class 1A golf tournament at Howey-in-the-Hills. On the girls' side, the Vikings' Claire Sattler was 50th and Gabby Vetter tied for 56th. Cape Coral resident Brittany Shin, who competes for Canterbury School in Fort Myers, was second overall.



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